baking: it was almost an “oh, no” moment

cardmom sugar with sweet-tart apples

Hubby and I had a rare pleasure… it was raining.  You might think, ugh; I sorta do too, as I’m ready for warm sunshine.  The cool thing was we didn’t have to go to work and could stay in our jammies all day if we wanted.

With a rainy day mix playing on Spotify, I decided that in honor of the type of day, we should forgo our usual smoothie routine for muffins hot out-of-the-oven with extra cups of coffee.  I “Pin” recipes for just such an occasion.  I grabbed my phone, scrolled through my “breakfast on saturday” board and picked Vanilla Pear Muffins.  Don’t they sound heavenly delicious?

I glanced (emphasis on the word glanced; not a good idea when you are baking) at the ingredients, being was pretty sure I still had one stray pear in the refrigerator drawer and butter, eggs, flour, sugar are constants.

crisp gala apples, they're going to be fabulous
crisp gala apples, they’re going to be fabulous

Ok, confession #1 – read the whole recipe and check for all ingredients before you start dumping stuff into the bowl.  There were no pears in the fridge, but several crisp apples.  Sweet, that’s an easy substitute, although I did want it to be a pear muffin.

Confession #2 – oh, no!  It called for applesauce. Now I was in a bit of a dilemma.  Often applesauce is a stand-in for butter or oil.  This recipe already called for both.  I did have apples, so I could make some, but well, I was hungry and would already have to wait during the mixing and baking process.  Think…what could I use in a pinch?  I had apple juice; time to do a science class experiment with said husband being my guinea pig.

ready to be baked, apples tucked in and a generous amount of cardamom sugar
ready to be baked, apples tucked in and a generous amount of cardamom sugar

All else was in order, but while I was tweaking the recipe, why not use the cardamom sugar to sprinkle on top and leave out the lemon zest?

I almost had an oh, no, moment, but this serendipitous diverted disaster turned out to be better than I imagined.  The dense texture of these muffins was sublimely rich.  We munched on them as breakfast food, but they would make be a fab dessert with a spoonful of whipped cream.   I adored them warm, and they were more flavor-laden the next day.

i love how the apple slices peak out of the muffin
i love how the apple slices peak out of the muffin

Vanilla Apple Muffins with Cardamom Sugar

(Adapted from Pastry Affair blog and Inspired Taste)

Yields 12 muffins


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 medium apples, thinly sliced
  • Cardamom sugar (Savory Spice Shop or make your own) for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, butter, oil, and apple juice until well combined.
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined; do not over mix. Distribute the muffin batter evenly between baking cups. Stick 3 thin slices of apple directly into top of the muffin batter. Sprinkle cardamom sugar onto the muffins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffin tops are lightly browned and bounce back to the touch. Serve hot or at room temperature.

I love rainy days, bluesy music and warm muffins – Missy


5 thoughts on “baking: it was almost an “oh, no” moment

  1. I’ll have to try these! I love cardamom! I too often improvise when I neglect reading the recipe all the way before starting. But improvisation can be a great way to come up with new delicious favorites.
    Great post! 😄 Now I want to bake muffins!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I know what you mean. Some of my best recipes were totally on accident. That’s what makes it fun! I still want to fix them with pears. I actually have 3 sitting on the kitchen counter; maybe tomorrow morning..

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s